2008-07-11 / Top Stories

Kelly Outlines Rockaway Progress

PC: 101 Precinct To Get 26 Rookies
By Miriam Rosenberg

During the re-opening of the Redfern Houses Community Center this week, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly outlines some of the initiatives the NYPD has taken in Far Rockaway in the wake of gun violence in the area in May. Among those also pictured are Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Redfern Tenants Association president Doris Jacobs, Valerie West of RDRC and local children from the complex. Photo by Miriam Rosenberg. During the re-opening of the Redfern Houses Community Center this week, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly outlines some of the initiatives the NYPD has taken in Far Rockaway in the wake of gun violence in the area in May. Among those also pictured are Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Redfern Tenants Association president Doris Jacobs, Valerie West of RDRC and local children from the complex. Photo by Miriam Rosenberg. Two months ago, New York City's top cop came to the Redfern Houses to speak with the residents of the public housing complex, many of whom were mourning the shooting death of one of its teens, Brendan Bethea.

Nearly seven weeks later, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly returned to Redfern to celebrate the re-opening of its community center and to update residents on the initiatives the NYPD has taken in Far Rockaway.

Just days after the death of Bethea, 15, Kelly, and other public officials and community members, met in the Redfern Community Center to map out how to end the gun violence in the area.

During his speech at the re-opening of the Center on Monday, he outlined some of the progress that has been made since the meeting on May 22.

"We have made an arrest in the shooting of Brandon Bethea and are looking for one other individual as well," Kelly said. "I can assure you that since that time the police department has been very active here, both on the enforcement front - but, also to establish recreational programs."

Kelly continued, "Some sufficient arrests have been made. [Also] we have redeployed some additional resources."

New resources coming to Far Rockaway include new officers for the local precinct.

"The 101 Precinct will be receiving 26 new officers as a result of the police academy graduating class," said Kelly to a round of applause from those gathered outside the Redfern Houses Community Center.

Kelly added that J-RIP, a program aimed at reducing the incidence of juvenile robberies and muggings, has teamed up with Far Rockaway's Weed and Seed to form a basketball league that began in June.

"The second part of that, I believe, is starting this Saturday, July 12," remarked Kelly. "So its not all law enforcement.

"That we're all in this together is something that we focus on. That is the recreational aspect of it - working with our neighbor."

Kelly concluded by saying, "There's a lot of progress being made here in Far Rockaway."

Deputy Inspector Brian McMahon, the commanding officer of the 101 Precinct, told The Wave he already has plans for his new officers.

"Eighteen are going to housing," said McMahon. "The others will be going on patrol."

He added that the officers would be part of a strike force at the precinct.

In addition, 20 new police officers have been assigned to the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Park to augment the summer detail. The new police, however, will reportedly remain when the summer is over.

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